OOXML needs to die. It's clear that OOXML is a faux standard -- not because it's a vendor standard. There are lots of vendor-created standards which are real standards (e.g. PostScript). No, OOXML is a botch because it's expressed in terms of an undocumented Microsoft graphics library. OOXML is all "and then a miracle occurs". You've seen that cartoon, right?
Simon, I'm beginning to think that you were right and I was wrong. You said a standard's process is a crucial aspect of the standard's product, and a process that is not open cannot be trusted to produce a product that can be considered open. I maintained that I had seen and used many wonderful standards that took absolutely zero input from me, and therefore I didn't see my participation as a necessary prerequisite for assuring quality in the future. I believed that no matter what the process, a standard should be judged by the product.
The OSI adopted a mandate of working on Open Standards two years ago. We put forward a statement on requirements for an Open Standard which boiled down to a simple proposition: if the standard could not be implemented fully and faithfully in Open Source, the standard should never be declared nor considered open.
One of the high points of my last trip to California was meeting James Burgett. Burgett is an utterly fearless man, a former drug addict who candidly admits he originally began recycling and assembling computers to finance his habit but then got clean and founded one of the most effective and remarkable nonprofits I know of.
I've been invited to speak at the Irish Web Technology Conference 2008, in Dublin a week from today, on the subject of Open Source Licensing. If you assume that this is the Dublin in Ireland, and not any of the Dublins in California, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, or Virginia, you would be correct.
Kevin Kelly's Better than Free blog posting has some useful insights for people trying to profit from their Open Source development. He speaks of "Generatives", which are attributes of something which are not, and cannot be, part of a free distribution.
On January 31st 2008, Mary Jo Foley posted an insightful blog about Microsoft's Open Source Strategy. On the morning of February 1st 2008, Microsoft announced an unsolicited bid of $44.6B hostile for Yahoo!, and by the end of the day, Microsoft had lost $20B in market capitalization. Where does this leave Microsoft's open source strategy and the analysis thereof?